The Boston Celtics are a popular pick to win the Eastern Conference in 2018-19, and one of their players is not shying away from those lofty predictions. Jaylen Brown, an athletic wing who enjoyed a breakout season last year, expressed that confidence on a podcast with fellow NBA player C.J. McCollum.
"Oh, we're getting to the Finals. No question about it," Brown said.
Not only has LeBron James vacated the Eastern Conference, but the Celtics will see the returns of All-Stars Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward. Hayward missed all but five minutes of his first season in Boston following a leg fracture on opening night.
Despite missing those two players, the Celtics took LeBron and the Cleveland Cavaliers to seven games in the Eastern Conference Finals. According to Brown, the Celtics were ready to take the next step–with or without LeBron in their way.
"I know [LeBron] did have a strong hold on the East for the last seven years, but he barely got us out of there this year,” Brown added. “And our mindset was like, 'Man, he's not beating us again.'”
Boston had a somewhat active offseason, re-signing defensive stoppers in Marcus Smart and Aron Baynes to new contracts. In addition, they got what many consider a steal by drafting Robert Williams at No. 27 in the 2018 NBA Draft. Daniel Theis, who also missed the end of last season due to injury, will return to the lineup, as well.
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